Insecurity: Major shakeup in Nigerian Airforce

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…As CAS charges Commanders to intensify fight against terrorists

By Uthman Salami

The Nigerian Air Force ( NAF) on Thursday announced the redeployment of senior officers and appointed new branch Chiefs and Air Officer Commanders (AOCs).

This is just as Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao charged the operational Commanders to intensify the heat on terrorists across all the troubled areas in the country.

Announcing the reshuffling, Air Force Spokesperson, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet in a statement said the redeployment was approved by the Chief of Air Staff 48 hours after he had directed operational and air component commanders to maximise the deployment of firepower against terrorists and other criminal elements, Gabkwet said.

“In his message to the new appointees, Air Marshal Amao reminded them of the need to continually seek for effective and efficient means of deploying the resources at their disposals in line with the reviewed NAF counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency strategy,” the statement said.

He also charged them to be proactive and synergise with sister services towards eliminating the threat particularly posed by terrorists in the country.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed and redeployed senior officers are expected to assume their new offices on or before Friday, 5 August 2022.”

Among the newly appointed b ranch Chiefs are Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Jackson Yusuf,  formerly Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) who is now the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP) Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF), Abuja, AVM Oluwafemi Ogunmola, former Director of Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance now Chief of Communications Information Systems (CCIS), HQ NAF, AVM Aliyu Bello, former Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE) is now redeployed as the CTOP, HQ NAF, Abuja while AVM Nkem Aguiyi takes over as the Chief of Air Intelligence (CAI) and AVM Hassan Abubakar, former AOC Logistics Command is now the Chief of Standards and Evaluation.

In the same vein, the erstwhile COPP,  AVM Charles Ohwo is now the Chief of Defence Transformation and Innovation, Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, AVM Abubakar Liman, former CAI is now the Director of Space Utilization, DHQ, AVM Hycinth Eze, former Group Managing Director (GMD) NAF Holding Company takes over as Director of Production, DHQ, AVM Musa Muktar takes over as the GMD NAF Holding Company while AVM Raimi Salami, the erstwhile CCIS is now the Director of Strategy, DHQ.

The newly appointed AOCs are AVM Precious Amadi, AOC Tactical Air Command (TAC), Makurdi, AVM Abubakar Abdulkadir, AOC Special Operations Command (SOC), Bauchi, AVM Nnamdi Ananaba, AOC Air Training Command (ATC), Kaduna while AVM Emmanuel Shobande takes over as AOC Logistics Command (LC), Lagos.

…CAS charges operational Commanders to intensify fight against terrorists

In furthering fight against terrorism, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has charged Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational Commanders in the various theatres of operation across the country to ‘show no mercy’ and ensure they employ maximum firepower against terrorists posing security threats in the country.

This was contained in a separate message signed by the Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, which was made available to the Nigerian NewsDirect.

According to Amao, he  commended them for their efforts as well as the improved synergy with sister Services and other security agencies. Air Marshal Amao also underscored the need for effective allocation and utilization of all NAF platforms deployed for operations in the Northwest and Northcentral for enhanced operational effectiveness.

He explained the CAS believed this “will deny the terrorists freedom of movement while boosting the confidence of the populace and ensuring a peaceful country.”

He made the charge when he met with frontline Air Officers Commanding (AOC) and Air Component Commanders (ACCs) at the NAF Base yesterday in Kaduna.

He said that though the security environment remains fluid and uncertain with terrorists moving between the Northeast, Northwest and North central, the need to continually modify NAF’s air power strategies to stay ahead of the asymmetric and unconventional nature of terrorists’ activities is of paramount importance.

According to him, “We have a responsibility to secure our nation and give our citizens a sense of hope, trust and belonging. Therefore, we must ensure that we stay ahead of the enemy and envisage his next line of action.”

He then charged them “to show no mercy against any terrorist and their accomplices while also denying them the freedom of movement and ease to cause mayhem against innocent Nigerians.”

The statement partly read, “Air Marshal Amao then assured them that training of more combat pilots, imagery analysts and other specialties in the NAF would continue to be of utmost priority so as to address the manpower challenges within the operation areas.

“He went on to state that efforts were at advanced stage to procure more combat platforms for the NAF to meet the ever-increasing demands of air assets in various theatres of operations across the nation. Other issues addressed during the interface included the need to ensure speedy procurement circle of aircraft spares to minimise aircraft down-time amongst other issues.”